While the end of the stay at home seems a long way off, it will come. Already there have been some adjustments to the stay at home order such as; golfing for two, opening of state parks, requirement of wearing mask and opening of retail stores for drive by pickups. But are you ready for the changes? While none of us can predicted the future, there are some things that we can predict will happen.
Face Covering: We need to wear them in a variety of settings. What is your plan for handling them? If you are using disposable ones, then they need to be tossed after you use them. If you are using cloth ones, then you need to wash them. Ideally, you should have two face coverings per person so you can wash one while you wear the other one. Follow CDC rules for type and fit. I would suggest having a basket by your door or car to keep them in and another one in the laundry area to be washed. While they do not completely protect you from the virus, they do protect others.
Purse: I love a really great leather purse. But for now, I am using a cloth one that is easy to wash. And I include a small plastic bag for my credit card. I can wash the cloth purse when I return home. And do not have to place the credit card back into my wallet until I have disinfected it. I always have a mask and hand sanitizer with me.
Employment: I suggest that everyone think about updating your resume. All companies are going to be faced with hard decisions about their future and their employees. If you have not already then think about looking at job search engines on the internet. It is not all bad since some companies are doing better in this economy so check out what is available. We are hiring so are others especially anyone who received a PPP loan.
High Risk Group: It will be a long time before this group feels safe. It is important that this group develops a new life pattern. For example, wearing a mask to shop at the store that have hours set specific aside for this group; do some online shopping; go outside whenever the weather allows; take a walk even if that walk is only around your house and have an indoor hobby. I have pulled out scrapbooking projects that I started a while back. I suggest doing a scrapbook on how you are surviving this crisis. You can even do it online since there are several options available. I know that puzzles have become popular. You could learn a new language or make a quilt or make a picture out of old costume jewelry or make a little gift to cheer up a neighbor.
Prepare your office space: When you return to work you will need to have some supplies. Do you know what your workplace will provide? I have made up baskets for all my staff with disinfectant spray, hand sanitizer, gloves and will be adding cloth mask. None of these things have been easy to find so I have been looking over the last weeks. I am still looking for disinfect wipes. I would suggest getting your own supplies together or organizing them for a family member.
Depression: To some degree, we are all feeling depression. Our idea of what is normal has changed. If you are home alone and missing family, it can be especially hard to get through the day. Adjusting to change is something that we all resist and find hard to do. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the current events or struggling to get out of bed everyday then you should seek professional help. Counselors are offering telehealth services so you do not need to leave your house. Since they are at home, it may take a little longer for them to get back to you but they will return your telephone call.
If you are suffering from mild depression, then here is some suggestion. I know I have said this many times but it needs repeating “have a schedule”. Even if one of the day’s means doing nothing. In the morning, plan what you want to accomplish that day. Then do it at your own pace. It is a great time to spring clean your house or do some yard work. Bake something for a friend or neighbor.
Find something that makes you laugh even it is telling dumb jokes to family members. Humor is the best resource we have in dealing with depression. Watch a funny movie or read a funny book.
Depression can be the result of feelings of a loss of control. Ask yourself, what do you have control of in this situation? Just some thoughts on things that you can control, your daily activities within the stay at home rules; have a spa day; starting and completing a project; how you purchase items; cooking healthy food; exercise is a great way to reduce depression even if you just walk around your house or apartment; taking pictures of inside or outside the house; redesign a room even if it is moving stuff from one room to another; make fun nonalcoholic drinks to have with dinner; play some childhood games - jacks or marbles; have a cooking or dance contest via zoom; call a friend and share your stories; draw a chalk message on a friend’s driveway; go on a bike ride with mask/social distancing; sang a song; and more. These are just ideas see how many you can come up with for you or your family.
The more you focus on what you can do then what you cannot do will lessen the depression.
A final thought, think about what you can do now so that you are not overwhelmed by the need to complete projects as we move towards returning to jobs or reduction of the stay at home rules. When we start to return to normal, we will need everyone so keep yourself both physically and emotionally healthy so you are ready to be a part of the return to the new normal.